A Story for Passover
This is a story of the first Passover, but the principles can be applied on any day at any time. The events described here take place on the day before, the day of, and the day after Passover.
The young boy Kenaz frantically runs from the outside of the city to his stone block home in Goshen. “Dad! Mom! It’s happening!’ He yells. “Moses said, ‘It’s happening tomorrow night!’ We’re going to have to kill him!”
“What’s this all about?” Kenaz’s dad looked up from his work wondering. “Who knows Jeph.” Kenaz’s mother said, shrugging her shoulders. “He probably found another giant ball of ice from the hailstorm. That last one he found was almost as big as his head!” “Yep, he could barely lift it.” His father added. She smirked while his father chuckled; they both shook their heads. Kenaz was always finding something or getting into some kind of trouble.
A Message from the Elders
The elders of their tribe arrived, calling for a meeting of the heads of the families. “The die has been cast.” They said, “Tomorrow night death will come to every door in Egypt requiring the firstborn of each household to carry out the Almighty’s edict. He will strike down the Egyptians so that they will let our people go worship Elohim on His mountain.”
“Can it be? Really? Unbelievable!” The crowd began to mumble.
As the rumble grew louder, the head elder raised his hand, “We must begin to prepare right away. Each household must take a young unblemished lamb or goat, slaughter it, and prepare it for the meal. Then, take some of the drained blood from the animal and spread it on the tops and sides of your front door. Doing this will protect anyone inside from harm. We have Moses’ promise.”
A Plea for a Stay of Execution
As the crowd began to disperse, Kenaz ran up to his parents coddling a young lamb. “See! See! They want us to kill Cherem! We can’t! We just can’t!” He exclaimed desperately. Bending over to stroke his curly black hair, Kenan’s mother picked them both up and put them in her lap, “Oh Ken. It’s going to be alright,” she said tenderly pulling him close.
“No, it won’t! It won’t! We can’t kill him! He is my friend! I’ll . . . I’ll take him! I’ll take him and hide!” He began to cry profusely.
Understanding Ken’s pain, Jephunneh walked over to them and gently put his hand on Ken’s back, “What about your bother?” He said to Kenaz slowly. “What happens when the angel comes for him?”
“Caleb?” Ken said weakly. “Yes, Caleb,” his father responded softly. “He is the oldest. Do you want the angel to come and take him?”
Kenaz looked up sheepishly through his tears and slowly shook his head.
A Different Point of View
“Let me show you something, Ken,” Jeph said while slowly picking up Cherem. Walking over to the orderly pile of uncut rocks nearby, he put the lamb on the ground, bent down, and pointed two fingers at his eyes and then at Cherem, signaling the others to watch. Cherem ran over to Kenaz and snuggled up to him for a moment, then skipped over to the pile of rocks, jumped on it, and sat down on its side, turning slowly to look up at Jephunneh.
“See. My son. He knows.” Looking at Kenaz, Jeph continued, “Somehow, he knows he’s trading his life for our family’s. He understands that he was born for this. It is a gift the Mighty One gives those who will give their lives for others. They know when their time is at hand, and they have the courage and the compassion to face it.”
His mother continued, “Putting his blood on our door and making his body a part of our final meal here in Egypt, joins us to the rest of the family of Elohim who will be doing the same thing. His body and his blood create a joining between our family, the Almighty, and His people. His blood protects us from death, and his body joins us in a covenant with the God of Abraham.”
Mighty Wonders Ahead
“Plus, you little rascal,” Caleb said, walking up from leaning on a nearby tree listening to the conversation, “Yahweh, said He would watch over us all night to make sure we leave Egypt safely. He’s not sending some of His angels, He’ll be here Himself!” Throwing Kenaz high up into the air. “You wouldn’t want Him to see us as the only family who didn’t follow His instructions do you?” Kenaz frantically shook his head and hugged his older brother.
“Our Elohim, Yahweh is greater and more powerful than anyone ever thought,” Caleb said as he walked over and kissed his mom on the forehead. Then looking over at Jephunneh. “Hey dad!”
“Son.” His father said proudly, nodding his head and smiling.
“In the next few days, weeks, and years, Yahweh is going to perform some amazing wonders on our behalf. Those of us who love Him, listen to and act on what He says, and believe in His Name He gave us through Moses, will be in on every event.” Caleb said walking over to the altar Cherem was laying on, “And this little guy’s sacrifice will allow us to see it and participate. That’s right! We won’t just watch what happens; we’ll be a part of it!”
Cherem seeing Caleb walk over to him, stood and stomped his feet softly and excitedly, and then leaped into his arms. Caleb deftly caught him and reached into his pocket to give him a small carrot he had picked up for him. “Thank you, little guy,” He said quietly to Cherem, “for giving your life for me.”
At this Caleb gently placed Cherem back on the altar. Looking again at Kenaz, Cherem lay down again, but this time putting his head down in a way that exposed his neck to Caleb. Kenaz’s mother and father pulled their young son close holding him gently. Caleb picked up the sacrificial knife stored near the altar. “Dad?” he said looking at his father.
“Go ahead, son,” Jephunneh said. Cherem closed his eyes . . . and so did Kenaz.
A Dark Cloud of Smoke
As the sunset of the next day approached, a large dark ball of smoke appeared in the sky that looked different than any of the clouds. “What’s that!” Kenaz exclaimed. Jephunneh and Caleb looked at the sky and then glanced at each other quickening their pace.
“Ken.” Jephunneh said, “Run inside and let your mother know we’ll be there in just a minute so we can start eating dinner.” Looking at the sky warily, Kenaz nodded his head quickly, and ran to the house, yelling, “Mom! Dad said . . .” “I could have yelled, Ken!” Jeph said interrupting and smirking. But his joviality was stopped short . . . the smoke grew larger, broke apart into individual puffs of smoke, and began to spread out over Egypt. Caleb looked at his father, “We should get inside.”
Death at the Door
Jephunneh, Caleb, and the older children watched at the door. Part of the dark smoke came right down onto their street and changed into a large dark menacing angel with huge dark wings and a long black sword. After the angel landed on the ground, he paused for a moment moving his head from side to side as if looking for something. He then stopped short looking off in the distance, then quickly turned his gaze directly at Zeph, Caleb, and the kids. The children opened their eyes wide, gasped, ran back to the table, and sat down abruptly. The two men looked calmly at each other, slowly closed the door, and went to the table to begin their meal. Caleb looked around the table at his family who was clearly shaken up and said, “We have no need to fear. We have Moses’ word. We have Yahweh’s promise. We’ve been obedient; now we only need to believe, and we will see our Elohim’s deliverance.” He paused again and said, “This is the tenth plague; the last one. Tomorrow . . . we will be free.”
Banging, Running, Screaming,
While the family ate the Passover meal and discussed the events that had led up to this night, the atmosphere outside turned dark. They heard heavy footsteps outside in the street, footsteps that shook the ground as they landed. They lived in an area that housed slaves from other nations as well as Yisraelites (Israelites). Some had followed the Yisraelites and put blood on their doors, but many had not. Their next-door neighbors hadn’t. Jephunneh had offered to share their lamb, but the neighbors refused out of fear of what the Egyptians would think. The family paused when they heard deep footsteps walking up to their neighbor’s front door. There was an eerie silence that could be felt. Four slow bangs could be heard on their neighbor’s door that shook the surrounding houses, but there was no answer. The fifth bang blew the door open. The family then heard their neighbors running and screaming. Then came a loud ominous, “Nooooooo!” And then, silence. They had two first-born in their family, the mother and the oldest son.
A Whisper and A Song
The footsteps started again; this time they were heading toward their door. The footsteps slowly boomed closer and stopped at the family’s front door. Jephunneh and Caleb both stood up at the same time bracing for an encounter with Death. Then there was silence again; everyone was watching the front door and listening intently. But next, they all heard a low and slow whisper, ‘Pesach.’ And then silence again. Suddenly, the footsteps began again moving away from their door.
Jephunneh and his wife looked at each other. All the children whispered to one another, “What was that? Did you hear it? I don’t know what that was.”
Caleb looked up with tears in his eyes, “It was Cherem’s blood. It spoke to Death and told it to pass by us.”
Caleb’s mother added, “The way Abel’s blood spoke to Elohim after Cain killed him.” Caleb nodded his head slowly.
The blood worked; they had been delivered. The family embraced one another full of gratefulness and love for each other and their Deliverer.
Another loud bang on a door, however, startled them out of their embrace. They began to hear more running and screaming, and then silence. That was the cycle of death that night: footsteps, banging, running, screaming, silence. Jephunneh walked over to the open area of the home and said, Let’s have a song; shall we? He started and the family joined in with him in harmony:
YAHWEH is our light and our salvation—whom shall we fear?
YAHWEH is the stronghold of our lives—whom shall we dread?
When the wicked came upon us to devour our flesh, our enemies and foes stumbled and fell.
Though an army encamps around us, our hearts will not fear;
Though a war breaks out against us, we will keep our trust.
We will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
Nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the calamity that destroys at noon.
Though a thousand may fall at our side, and ten thousand at our right hand, no harm will come near us.
We will only see it with our eyes and witness the punishment of the wicked.
The next morning when the family woke up, they hurried to the windows and the door. All the houses that didn’t have lambs’ blood on them now had the blood of that family’s firstborn on or around them. All their front doors were either ajar or broken down. None of the houses that had lamb’s or goat’s blood on them had been touched, however. It was also very cloudy over the whole area. All at once, a ram’s horn blew two short blasts. “That’s it!” Said Caleb. “That’s the signal. It’s time to go!”
As the family was finishing securing their belongings for travel, Kenaz, looking toward the sky said, “Why do the clouds look so close to us? It looks like I can jump up and touch them.” Taking a step, he brought his feet together and jumped in the air as high as he could. His mother continued, “What’s really odd is that usually with cloud cover, the area becomes darker, but these clouds seem to be making the sky bright as a sunny day.” Jephunneh and Caleb had been packing and hadn’t noticed so they stopped in unison to look at the sky. Caleb’s face morphed with realization, then brightened, “It’s Yahweh!! He’s watching over His promise to us, to make sure it’s carried out like He said He would!!! He’s keeping vigil over us until we’ve made it out safely!” With that, he took a step and jumped in the air just like Kenaz yet going much higher, but he seemed to float in slow-motion. A portion of the cloud broke off from the rest and encircled him momentarily, and then went back up. Everyone nearby who heard the conversation looked up in amazement and began telling others until most of Yisrael was looking up to the clouds in awe and wonder. They understood at least momentarily that Yahweh had been faithful to them. He had kept His word. The last plague had accomplished its purpose. Elohim’s death angel had passed over them but had soundly punished the Egyptians. They were being set free from their cruel bondage to slavery in Egypt.
This story is an interpretation of the first Passover which has many different meanings and blessings for which to be thankful. The two I would like to focus on here are the sacrificial lamb, (Cherem), and Father’s vigil over His children to make sure they were set free from bondage and made it safely out of Egypt. Cherem is pronounced “Kher-rem” and is defined as something devoted to destruction or sacrifice.
The Father’s Love for His Children
While the Father loved and watched over the Children of Yisrael (Israel), for them to benefit from that love during the final plague, they had to be obedient and follow the instructions He gave through Moses. They had to distinguish themselves from the Egyptians by putting the blood of a slaughtered lamb or goat on the posts of their front door. The Egyptians lived very differently than Yisrael. They did not have the instructions from Elohim to follow nor did they have His promise of deliverance. Had Yisrael followed the Egyptian’s way of living they would have stayed in bondage and ended up in destruction along with them.
Elohim’s love for His children is only as effective as their trust in Him and His abilities, and their obedience to His instructions. If any of Yisrael had not listened to what Elohim wanted, and instead had followed Egypt’s example, their firstborn would have perished along with Egypt’s. The Father of our Souls has definitively shown His love for us by sacrificing His first-born Son. We must, however, accept His love by believing in His Son, and accepting His death and blood as a part of our lives like Yisrael did. So, if the death angel comes for us prematurely or because of sin, He will see our Savior’s blood on the door of our souls, recognize that a life has already been taken on our behalf, and like what happened to Yisrael in Egypt, He will pass us by.
The Father Watches over His Children
Exodus 12: 42 tells us that the Commander of Heaven’s Armies Himself kept vigil that night and the next day, watching over Yisrael to make sure they made it out of Egypt safely and completely. He did not send His massive army of angels, He did it Himself. He waited there in Egypt with them overnight and the next day until the last sandaled foot left the city of Ramses. Let us consider that for a second. He came down as the Great Shepherd we read about in Psalm 23 to herd His shackled, broken, lost sheep into a place of freedom, health, and safety. The King of the known and unknown universe put aside His majestic crown and scepter, bent down to pick up a rod and staff, and lovingly brought comfort and deliverance to His people. What a wonderful picture of His nature and character that is!
Furthermore, scripture tells us that our Father does not change or vacillate (Numbers 23:19, Hebrews 13:8, James 1:17). We can find comfort and hope if we remember that when our critical moment of deliverance from bondage is at hand, if we will trust Him and listen to what He wants us to do, He will be faithful to stand vigil over us until we have been delivered from our captivities as well. He will walk with us and guide us into our promised land slaying giants and defeating enemies along the way.
A Possible Passover Paradigm Shift
It’s also interesting that as a part of the ongoing Passover celebrations, Elohim instructs His people to also hold vigil with Him (Exodus 12: 42). But if Yisrael had already been delivered from slavery, why did they still need to watch and pray during Passover? As many of us may know, while Yisrael was set free from their slavery to Egypt, mankind was still very much in bondage to sin and spiritual wickedness. They needed their own “Cherem” to die for them so that Death would pass them by. They needed a Mighty One to work wonders on their behalf and deliver them out of their bondage to slavery. Praise Father for our precious unblemished Lamb, Deliverer, and King, our “Cherem”, Yeshua ha Mashiah (Jesus, the Messiah)!
Standing Vigil on Passover
The Passover is a perfect time for us to stand vigil with our Father for ourselves so that we can be delivered from any persistent proclivities that we can’t seem to shake. Especially since He, the Creator of the Universe scheduled this appointment to meet with His people for the purpose of natural and supernatural deliverance. Yeshua became our “Cherem” to pay the price for our sins and take the place of our punishment and death due to our sins. He also sent His Holy Breath (Holy Spirit) to walk with us and lead us into continued victory and supernatural freedom. As the Children of Yisrael had to defeat all the enemies who were residing in the land Father gave them before they could enter their promised land, so must we. As they would come face to face with their enemies and giants, they would bow down and seek the Commander-in-Chief for the strategy for victory. This is a perfect time for us to consecrate ourselves, cry out, and seek Him for victory in our lives. If we’ve been wanting new levels of freedom in our lives, this is a great time to seek Him for it.
If we don’t want to stand vigil for ourselves, we may consider doing it for someone else. This is the nature of the feast. Father stood vigil to see the Children of Yisrael (Israel) delivered from Egypt. And now we can stand vigil with Him for each other so that we can be set free from the issues that we struggle with or have us bound, together. One of my favorite things about the story of Job is what he would do when his children would have parties. Job would go to pray and make sacrifices for them just in case they sinned. (Job 1: 4-5) We can also pray for those in the world who are destined and called according to the promise but have not yet placed the blood of Yeshua on their souls. We pray that they will choose life and come out of their bondage to sin and Satan before the death angel comes for them.
A Thought for This Passover
This Passover let us take some time to celebrate what our Father did in Egypt for Yisrael. Let’s thank Him for what Yeshua did for us by laying down his life as a “Cherem” for the world. Elohim set up this date as a special time for His people to meet with Him, not just for a ritualistic ceremony, but to meet with and interact with His people, those who love Him and call on His Name. Like in Egypt so many years ago, He’s holding vigil over us to see that we make it to freedom. Perhaps we are dealing with personal struggles from which we need to be released. Perhaps we are having trouble in school or work or in our finances. Perhaps we are fearful of a certain outcome in our lives. Maybe we are having marital problems or health issues. Maybe we have animosity or unforgiveness in our families. Whatever the issue, this is a time for us to come squarely before the Most High, our People Delivering, Promise Keeping, Prayer Answering, Freedom providing, Family Restoring, Body Healing, never changing Heavenly Father for help and freedom. After our Seder, perhaps we can bow before Him in reverence, and cry out for deliverance for ourselves and others while He is watching and holding vigil specifically for that like He said He would.
A Prayer for Passover:
Let us pray this prayer together on Passover. It is meant to be prayed aloud and with conviction. Take your time and if you need to pray something more than once or add your own words, feel free to do so until the Holy Breath releases you to move forward. Continue to press in until you have everything you need. May Father meet us at our point of need and bring us together into total freedom and deliverance in Him.
Dear Faithful Father,
Thank you for what you did in Egypt for the Children of Yisrael! Thank you for showing Yourself strong with the wonders and miracles You performed. There is no One like You! You sent plagues on the Egyptians, but You kept those plagues from harming Your people. You delivered them with a Strong Arm and a Mighty Hand. Your Power is unmatched. You led them through the desert, and when Pharoah’s army trapped them, You opened up the Red Sea! While in the wilderness, You fed Your people with manna and gave them water from a rock! Most of all Father, You gave them Your Word to teach them how to live and how to please You. Thank you for Your goodness to Your people and to us!
Thank you for Your Son, Yeshua who gave His life in exchange for ours. We believe and are thankful that He not only died but was buried, rose again, and is seated at Your right-hand making intercession for us right now. Since You have forgiven us, we forgive everyone who has hurt or wronged us in any way. We release them to receive Your forgiveness so that we will in turn be released to receive Your forgiveness. Forgive us for all our sins known and unknown, individual and habitual. We confess the sins that You bring to our minds right now. Selah. We do not judge others since that will bring Your judgment on us. Wash us with Your Blood so that the death that comes because of sin, will pass by us. We are Your children, and You have first place in our lives. You are our King, and Your Kingdom is our priority! There are none before You or even beside You in our lives!! Thank you for saving us!
Now Father, when Yeshua’s disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, He responded by teaching the principles of the prayer in Matthew 6: 5-15. While we will not recount them all here, we will focus on the tenth one: Deliver us from evil or the evil one.
We raise our hands to You and ask that you deliver us, deliver our friends and families, deliver Your people, and deliver those who don’t know you.
Deliver us from all evil and the evil one.
Deliver us from principalities, from evil authorities, from the world rulers of the darkness of this age, and from spiritual wickedness in the heavenly realms.
Deliver us from anyone or anything that might come into our lives to hinder or harm us in any way.
Deliver us from bondages, proclivities, and addictions that have control over us at times and are leading us down a path you do not like.
Deliver us from any sickness, disease, or health problems in our lives.
Deliver us from anything not mentioned here that we may need freedom or protection from.
Show us the path to righteousness, wholeness, and freedom.
We thank you, Father, for hearing our prayer, and setting the appointed day Passover to meet with us, to celebrate the great things You’ve done, and to seek You for the mighty wonders You have yet to do. We anticipate Your goodness, Your Mercy, and Your power.
We pray all these things in the name of Your Son, our Deliverer, Yeshua ha Mashiah (Jesus, the Messiah).